Bela de Souza

C 2017
“I always had a strong interest in music and wanted to take it further but never had the chance until I was at Wellington.”

I came to Wellington from Elmhurst – a vocational dance school that was also boarding, so I was used to the aspect of being away from home. During the school day we had both dance and academic lessons. I was looking for a school with a strong academic side but that would also allow me to be creative and continue dancing – my Mum was the one who suggested Wellington College.

To apply I first had to send in a personal statement before being asked to attend a day of challenging entrance tests, interviews and a dance audition. It was a long but enjoyable day and I left with an impressive opinion of the school with its lovely grounds.

The thought of coming to such a big school was quite daunting as I had never imagined myself coming to study somewhere like this. However, everyone I met was so friendly and helpful, and this contributed to the caring atmosphere that made me feel more at ease.

Another element that was very clear and important to me from the start, was that Wellington isn’t a school that aims to just produce students with high grades, but to create well-rounded individuals who are prepared for life after school.

Coming to Wellington meant a big change in the school culture that I was used to, such as the learning and teaching approach, which did worry me slightly. Having danced for numerous hours a day at my previous school, I was also worried that I may not have been able to continue with lots of dance, but although it is different I was still able to do various styles of dance every day, so any fears quickly dissolved.

I was made to feel very welcome when I first arrived and immediately felt very at home. The school was very approachable with any help we needed or questions we had and the pastoral support was brilliant. The College offers many interesting talks for parents and recordings of them are available, making it even more inclusive for parents who may be unable to come due to distance or other factors.

I thrived in a place where there was a mixture of people with various talents and interests, creating the vibrant atmosphere around the school. I enjoyed all the performances and creative opportunities that I was able to get involved with, which enabled me to enrich my experiences in various areas of the arts and use what I learnt in other ways, such as teaching dance classes in College or directing a performance that encompassed different art forms.

There was always so much going on at Wellington and I still wish I had time to do more but being there gave me the opportunity to try acting, and to develop my singing along with starting song writing. I had always had a strong interest in music and wanted to take it further but never had the chance until I was at Wellington. The wide variety of choices for subject options gave me a lot more flexibility in what I chose to do academically, and how I then organised my time with co-curricular activities.

In addition to the endless talks, lectures and career events that were on our doorstep, Wellington also opened more doors for me and therefore gave me an insight into things I may not have considered before.

One of the main things that has inspired me in all areas is the simple enjoyment I get from everything I do; usually this involves being creative or trying new things, as I find the process of creating just as interesting and fun as seeing the final product itself. Wellington has given me so many opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have had if I had gone elsewhere, so I feel that making these opportunities more accessible to all students regardless of their background is very important.

Since leaving Wellington College at the end of U6, Bela was accepted into the prestigious Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and is thriving there.